This species is endemic to Australia and is recognised as the 2nd largest species of crayfish in the world (Van Praagh 2003). The species is found from near sea-level to over 700 m above sea level, and its distribution extends into New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory. The species range covers a distance north to south of 450 km, and a distance east to west of 800 km, rendering it the most widespread species in the genus (Morgan 1997). This species Extent Of Occurrence (EOO) was estimated to exceed 150,000 km2 (J. Coughran and J.M. Furse pers. comm. 2008).
This distribution includes waterways in the Murrumbidgee, Murray, Mitta Mitta, Kiewa, Ovens and Goulburn River catchments. Although there were still commercial catches of this species reported in the Murray River in South Australia until the 1960s, this species is now considered rare or absent from this area downstream of Mildura in New South Wales (approximately 1,000 km of river) (Van Praagh 2003, Gilligan et al. 2007). Absence from this part of the river appears to be the most appreciable documented reduction in the distribution, estimated to be around 10% of its natural distribution (Gilligan et al. 2007). However, there has been no recent targeted sampling for this species in the South Australian reaches of the Murray River to confirm their continued absence (Gilligan et al. 2007).